Film » Film Features

Spread the Word

Steven Soderbergh leads a stellar cast through some sick times

by

comment

Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, a star-studded thriller about a deadly global flu epidemic, employs the actual hum of centrifuges and meticulously researched science instead of wild sci-fi speculation. It's compelling stuff, but uneven. Soderbergh's stylish direction is somewhat undermined by the cumbersome mechanics of the script, in which multiple intersecting storylines trace the spread of the pandemic and the efforts of scientists to develop a vaccine.

“Patient Zero” is Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow), a traveling executive who returns from Hong Kong with the virus, which kills her and her young son, leaving husband Mitch (Matt Damon) to deal with the ghastly aftermath. As the plague spreads, worldwide panic ensues, leaving a post-apocalyptic landscape of mass graves, burning, and looting.

Contagion's stories of human suffering work best, while the narratives about the scientists and a thread about a nefarious blogger (Jude Law) are freighted by clunky dialogue. A deep mistrust of modern communications is woven through this frightening cautionary tale, the real villain of which is globalization. --Pamela Zoslov

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.